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Plymouth warship seizes cocaine in the Caribbean

HMS Argyll on counter-narcotic duty in the Caribbean Credit: MoD

The Plymouth-based warship, HMS Argyll, has seized nearly 600 kilos of cocaine with a UK street value of £21 million. It followed a 12-hour pursuit across the Caribbean.

The Type 23 frigate is on counter-narcotic operations in the region and was tasked to pursue a suspicious boat. The ship used its sea boats and Lynx helicopter to detain the crew and seize the drugs.

The crew of HMS Argyll seized 18 bags of cocaine with a street value of £21 million Credit: MoD

Five people found on board the boat were detained in HMS Argyll and handed over to US justice on Friday (22 August).

The Royal Navy has a hard-earned record of tackling illegal drugs smuggling and we should be extremely proud that HMS Argyll has been involved in a dramatic and very successful operation to disrupt the supply. The operation showed tenacity and professionalism.

– Armed Forces Minister Mark Francois
  1. West Country (E)

Ambitious sailor 'would have died' trying to sail to US

One of the crewmen who rescued a sailor three miles off the coast of Dorset has said he could have died. The man, who is from Bulgaria was trying to sail to America in a 12ft dinghy.

When we reached the gentleman he didn't want us there, he wanted to carry on his way. His boat was not properly rigged so he was just getting battered, he was at the mercy of the elements. He didn't have a life-jacket, just a buoyancy aid and the vessel didn't have any lights.

All he had on was a bag of personal belongings which were a few odds and ends, a bag of biscuits, beans and hot dogs and a bag with his passport in.

He was obviously suffering from the first signs of hypothermia. He was only wearing a pack-a-mac jacket and leggings. He was absolutely sodden.

I ended up cuddling him at the back of the boat to keep him warm. He would have died, he was severely sea sick, he had the first signs of hypothermia and his boat was filling up with water.

– Pete Dadds, RNLI lifeboat crewman
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